Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

Life has a strange and funny way of teaching us lessons. Society constantly tells us that we need to set expectations and goals and have dreams. But what if we let go of all those societal expectations? What if we embraced the world and life as they are and not as we hope to be? Doesn’t it sound liberating? As I hiked my way up the terrain of Mount Malindang Natural Park, I rediscovered a lesson that I had lost amid life’s chaos. 

When you live without expectations, you’re at peace, constantly happy, and stress-free. 

And you are free to enjoy things as they are. 

Each cool mountain breeze, rustling leaf, mishap, and burst of laughter becomes a memory and a moment to enjoy. 

The thing is, we often go on trips with a heavy bag full of expectations. 

But then we realized that the best experiences are unfiltered, unexpected, and unplanned. 

Just like my hike up Mount Malindang. 

It was not about ticking a box on a bucket list or capturing the perfect summit photo.

Instead, it was a journey without expectations – a chance to immerse in life’s unpredictable beauty.

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

My Mount Malindang Natural Park experience 

Day 1 at 05:38 PM: Mount Malindang Natural Park Visitor Center

I saw the disappointment on their faces. 

We were stuck inside the covered basketball court, waiting patiently for the rain to stop. 

With heavy downpours and mild gusts of wind, we couldn’t pitch our tents on the verdant grounds of Mount Malindang. 

And earlier, the military informed us that we couldn’t climb one of the park’s summits – North Peak. 

On the surface, this hike has the recipe for a disappointing journey. 

But guess what? 

Not everyone was disappointed. 

I, for one, was still in high spirits. 

We cracked jokes, shared stories, and recalled the funny moments on our way to the visitors center and Lake Duminagat. 

We talked about the binangkals and the smooth escapades of RVD. 

Why wasn’t I disappointed? 

The truth is, I didn’t have any expectations of our Mount Malindang hike. 

I had no mental checklist of what I hoped to experience and no grand illusions of what I wanted to take away from this hike. 

As they say, no expectations mean no disappointments

And I have lived my life with no expectations. 

Although life pushes us to chase goals and to have expectations, I choose to live this way. 

The mountains have trained me to expect nothing from something or somebody. 

In life, hiking, and travel, we often set the bar high with lofty expectations. 

We foresee picture-perfect views, a sea of clouds, and mesmerizing mossy forests. 

And we anticipate spotting exotic wildlife and envision the triumph of reaching the summit. 

There’s nothing wrong with having this anticipation and expectation. 

But, it does present one big problem. 

What happens if all these things don’t happen? 

What happens when things don’t go as planned?


And disappointment is caused when your expectations and hopes aren’t satisfied. 

If our experiences fall short of our expectations and preconceived images, the disappointment can be overwhelming. 

And it will tint our outdoor adventures with regret. 

That’s why I hike and travel with almost no expectations. 

I want to hike or travel like a blank canvas. 

Each step, surprise, and challenge is a brushstroke that transforms this blank canvas into an unexpected masterpiece and a unique piece of art. 

Day 1 at 11:56 AM 

The mountains, like life, are unscripted and unpredictable.

They are never linear. 

You can plan your life and hikes with great details, but you can’t be sure things will follow through every time. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

On our way to the base of our Mount Malindang hike, we encountered an obstacle: our vehicle couldn’t get through the seemingly impassable muddy road. 

We had to push it and put some weight on it to get it moving. 

It didn’t work, though. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

Fortunately, the local government’s backhoe was around to pull our vehicle to the paved section of the road.  

Then, we hopped on our vehicle and stopped by a community where we had lunch and made our final preparations. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

Moments later, we received some bad news. 

Even though we have secured all the documents and permits, we weren’t allowed to climb North Peak in Mount Malindang. 

Our guides said there was an unexpected situation that required the immediate attention of the authorities. 

I took a deep breath and smiled. 

Was I disappointed? 

Not exactly. 

You see. 

There are things beyond our control. 

We can’t control the weather, the actions of others, natural disasters, the passing of time, the past, and other people’s beliefs. 

And I don’t worry about things I can’t control. 

If I gave a damn about these things, my life would be more disappointing and stressful than it is. 

I focus on what I can control. 

If you focus on things you can control, you’ll win more battles with less stress. 

And besides, I didn’t climb Mount Malindang just to admire North Peak and Lake Duminagat. 

There’s a profound reason I climb mountains, like Mount Apo and Mount Talinis.

The views are a bonus. 

Day 1 at 2:30 PM 

It suddenly rained cats and dogs. 

The trails were getting slippery, muddy, and more challenging. 

And I loved every second of this section on our Mount Malindang hike. 

The mountains are a mirror of life itself. 

It’s constantly changing, challenging, and rugged. 

But isn’t that the beauty of life? 

The moments of struggle, and the twists and turns, followed by a sense of accomplishment, make life rewarding. 

Along the way, I was reminded of my reasons for hiking mountains like Mount Malindang Natural Park.

Every step on the mountain gets me closer to self-discovery. 

Every unexpected hurdle, stunning view, and the breathless moment is an opportunity to learn something about myself. 

It’s an opportunity to become a better version of myself. 

I wondered what this hike would teach me. 

Would it teach us how to deal with failed expectations? 

Day 1 at 01:08 PM: Mount Malindang Natural Park 

I’m exhausted. 

Overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted, I’m killing myself with productivity and work. 

I’m worn out by the rush and noise of modern life, the relentless pressure, and endless demands. 

I’m stuck in the never-ending rat race. 

Life has been like a marathon without a finish line, and I’m aching for a glimpse of hope amid the chaos. 

That’s why I’m hiking Mount Malindang Natural Park. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

Tucked in Misamis Occidental, this silent giant is a world away from the spreadsheets and Zoom calls. 

It’s challenging, but I wouldn’t trade it for a day organizing documents and meetings. 

I tighten my shoes, strap on my heavy backpack, and we start our journey to Lake Duminagat. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

And every step takes me further away from pressure and stress and closer to something I desperately crave. 

Then, we take a breather to recharge and refill our water bottles. 

The noise of my city life fades into the background, and finally, for the first time in weeks, I can breathe. 

I’m not just climbing Mount Malindang for pleasure and to escape the monotony of my daily life. 

I’m climbing Mount Malindang to recalibrate, gain wisdom, and learn lessons from Mother Nature. 

Day 1 at 03:19 PM: Lake Duminagat 

The moment I laid eyes on Lake Duminagat, I was instantly mesmerized by its clear, emerald waters. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

With its serene atmosphere and stunning natural beauty, it felt like a slice of Nirvana. 

As I admired its beauty and listened to the laughter, I was visited by memories of a happier time in my youth. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments
Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments
Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

A time when life was simpler and free from worries, burdens, expectations, and stress. 

I remembered the feeling of being alive, the laughter, and the smiles.   

Soon, I realized that the best way to live is to be like a little kid with no expectations and cares. 

As kids, we can just do the things that bring us joy. 

We can express ourselves fearlessly in each moment. 

And we are free to enjoy and live in the moment without worrying about expectations and the future. 

Like kids, we can also be grateful and choose joy. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments
Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

While snapping pictures, sir Bojec arrived and informed us about the final decision of our climb to North Peak in Mount Malindang Natural Park. 

Despite the plea and submitted requirements, we were not cleared to climb the summit. 

That’s okay. 

Even in these situations, we can still choose joy. 

We can still be happy and have a blast. 

We just have to change our focus because the energy flows where our focus goes. 

If we focus on the bad side, that’s all we’ll see throughout the hike. 

But if we are grateful, abundance appears, and disappointment disappears. 

We have a reason to be disappointed and angry. 

But we also have a million reasons to be joyful and at peace. 

With a million-dollar view like this, there’s no need to be sour. 

Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments
Mount Malindang: Embracing Unfiltered And Unexpected Moments

Day 1 at 04:40 PM: Mount Malindang Nature Park

Expectations are our projections for the future. 

They may or may not happen. 

There’s nothing wrong with having expectations as long as you build them around things you can control. 

But we also make expectations because we can’t enjoy and accept the present moment. 

We’d rather spend time hiding in an ideal future experience that’s not real. 

And for this hike, I wouldn’t let the what-ifs and unmet expectations control my mood. 

I lived in the moment and spent time soaking up the natural beauty of Mount Malindang Natural Park.  

And thankfully, there was a stunning sight at every turn on this hike. 

Day 2 at 08:15 AM: The covered court

Breakfast was ready. 

Everyone was awake and ready to take the long hike to the muddy part of the road we had passed by a day ago. 

I was about to have breakfast when we suddenly heard a thud and the sound of wood cracking. 

I looked around and found Rome Van Day on his back. 

He was quickly on his feet and shrugged it off as if nothing. 

We laughed it off, and it became the theme for the day. 

We called it the tumbling binangkal. 

Somehow, it epitomizes our hike to Mount Malindang. 

Our Mount Malindang hike wasn’t smooth and a breeze, but we all still made it memorable, lighthearted, and fun. 

When life gave us lemons, we made lemonade. 

Day 2 at 9:54 AM: The dump truck ride 

My skin was bronzed, my spirit was high, and my heart was full of the beautiful memories of Mount Malindang and the people I’d met. 

We were on the last stretches of the journey, heading back to Dipolog, feeling a bit sad with the adventure coming to an end. 

We were headed back to reality. 

Back to the grind. 

And back to the hustle and bustle of modern life. 

But, as we were about to hike the steep road in this part of Mount Malindang Natural Park, something magical and quirky happened. 

A spontaneous ride on a monstrous dump truck! 

Not only did it give us a lift, but it also was a fun ride. 

Heck, getting to the truck was exciting and challenging. 

Furthermore, we, except Maria, were treated to breathtaking views of the jagged peaks and lush hills of Mount Malindang Natural Park. 

And that dump truck ride, as ridiculous as it may sound, became a highlight and one of the most memorable stories of our Mount Malindang adventure. 

From the artsy cafe to our boat ride back to Cebu, we talked about the funny moments on our hike. 

We didn’t talk about our failed attempt to summit North Peak. 

We recalled RVD’s rolling binangkal adventures and Maria’s climb to the dump truck. 

I know our trip wasn’t perfect. 

But why focus on the negative? 

Why spend time talking about unmet expectations? 

The secret to a successful hike is letting go of expectations and allowing positive energy to flow. 

Also, our hike reminded us to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. 

Most trips start with a destination in mind. 

But climbing a mountain teaches us a different philosophy: it’s not about the summit but the journey itself. 

What is Mount Malindang? 

Mount Malindang is a vast mountain range and a complex volcano in Mindanao, Philippines. It rises  2,404 meters above sea level and covers 53 262 hectares. 

Where is Mount Malindang located? 

Mount Malindang is located on the Zamboanga Peninsula in Mindanao, Philippines. 

How to climb Mount Malindang? 

Climbing Mount Malindang is tricky, especially if you’re not from the area. You must secure permits and look for transportation to get to the mountain’s base. If you’re from Cebu and interested in climbing this mountain, I suggest contacting Sir Bojec of Sugbo Adventours

Every adventure has mishaps and not-so-fun moments. 

There will be rocky paths, slippery and muddy trails, unexpected turns, and sudden downpours. 

And sometimes, expectations are not met. 

But it’s these hiccups that make the hike memorable. 

Every mishap is a story of determination and resilience. 

The stuck vehicle and the dump truck lift were fascinating tales highlighting our ability to adapt. 

The rain dampened our clothes but brought life to the green landscapes surrounding us. 

It also washed away the dust, unveiling the beauty of our path. 

And the slippery slopes and sharp rocks that tripped us up? 

They were a reminder to slow down and appreciate the small things. 

The unsuccessful climb to North Peak taught us to be grateful and content. 

And how can I forget the camaraderie forged on this hike to Mount Malindang? 

We started as strangers, brought together by the same goal. 

As we hiked the mountains and rode the dump truck, we built a bond as strong as the mountains we have conquered. 

Aldrich Infantado is a travel junkie and a writing aficionado who loves to share amazing travel tips to his fellow travelers.


  • Michelle

    Hi I’ve just read your blog regarding your Mt. Malindang hike. May I know how to get to its base camp and if you have an available itinerary, would you mind to share it to us. Thank you so much.

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